StG44 assault rifle Zielgerät 1229 World War 2 Night VisionJanuary 16, 2019
StG44 assault rifle Zielgerät 1229
In 1935, Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft developed night vision devices intended for use both by infantry and armor. Neither saw much use, however. They were large, bulky, and expensive.
In 1944, production began of the Zielgerät 1229, codename Vampir, which was a device designed to be fitted on small arms, such as the StG44 assault rifle and MG34 / MG42 machine-guns. 310 of them made it to the Wehrmacht in 1945, who designated those fortunate enough to receive the device “Nachtjägers,” or Night-Hunters.
Though not as large and bulky as earlier models, it was by no means light. The scope and IR (Infrared) spotlight dish weighed 5 pounds, almost half the weight of the StG44, which was 11 pounds and 5 ounces loaded. The battery pack that was required for the Zielgerät to even function? 30 pounds.
The IR spotlight is perhaps the most ridiculous looking part of the device, but was very necessary. The scope was essentially a sensor able to detect the upper infrared spectrum, and would only provide a clear image with the spotlight turned on. Early night vision required IR spotlights to function well.
Even though only 310 of the 35 pound Zielgerät 1229 systems made it to the German military, its limited use was, as one would expect, effective. The Nachtjägers on the Eastern Front were able to get some sniping in when the Sun had set, thanks to their “peculiar non-shining torches coupled with enormous optical sights.”
Jager Is pleased to bring a StG44 assault rifle Zielgerät 1229 in our 1/16 Weapons Range